Colombia hopes to have new railway law approved in 2024

The Colombian government aims to secure approval for new railway legislation during the initial half of 2024, with the intention of replacing the existing law that has been in effect for over a century. This proposed legislation seeks to enhance the multimodal transportation system within the country.

The existing legislation is perceived as inadequate in light of the proposed investments. According to María Constanza García, the Undersecretary of Infrastructure, the country’s development strategy includes a portfolio of projects that necessitates the enhancement of the regulatory framework in order to foster the growth of the railway industry. This was communicated during the Estación Pacífico symposium organized by Ruta Ferroviaria.

The legislation has been successfully approved during the initial deliberation inside the sixth committee of the lower chamber. Prior to being sent to the Senate, obtaining approval in the entire house is a prerequisite.

According to García, the proposed legislation aims to establish explicit regulations and delineate the roles and responsibilities of both public and private companies involved in the national rail network spanning 3,533 kilometers, as well as its associated infrastructure.

Upon the implementation of the forthcoming legislation, the Gustavo Petro administration anticipates bolstering the multimodal transportation infrastructure. This endeavor entails establishing linkages between ports, rivers, and the highway system with the existing rail network, thereby fostering investments in cargo transportation and mitigating associated expenses.

According to García, the proposal entails establishing interconnections between the Magdalena, Atrato, Putumayo, and Meta rivers with the existing rail network and roadways.

The measure stipulates that the ownership of the national railway network would be retained by the highways authority Invías, while the execution of related activities will be carried out by the infrastructure agency ANI.

The government of Colombia intends to allocate rail projects valued at 30 trillion pesos (equivalent to around US$7.38 billion) within the tenure of the Petro administration, scheduled to conclude in August 2026.

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